The thing that would surprise most people who come to visit the US from China is how clear and blue our skies and air is, and the fact that, for the most part, nobody really lives downtown in the city, but lives in separate houses and commutes. Not so with China, and nowhere is it more evident than in Hong Kong. Most people spend 40% of their income on housing, with the average income being $24,000 per year. The average family of four live in a unit that is 600 sq feet, richer families live in 1k-2k sq feet.
We went to Victoria Peak today which give you a bird’s eye, spectacular view of HK. For those of you who remember the movie, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, Mom was expecting to see William Holden waiting for her the top of the mountain. She was also expecting to see Suzy Wong walking the streets in her Chinese dress. Yes, it’s been another fulfillment of long time dreams for her to be in HK.
In the afternoon, we took a sampan ride to Aberdeen, where the working fishermen dock their boats. 60 percent of the boats have vanished from previous years. It seems that the young people do not want to follow in their father’s footsteps into a very tough lifestyle. Some of the families work and live on these boats and it indeed looks like a tough life. Surrounding the fishing area was Jumbo Restaurant, where you can pick your seafood out of a fish tank and they will serve it to you for lunch.
At 8pm, a major portion of the skyline of Hong Kong lights up with colored, flashing lights on the buildings, and colored lasers shooting across the harbors like a rock concert, all choreographed to music. I have no idea how they got an entire city to participate in this as if it were a Disney event for a theme park.
This trip to China has been an incredible adventure of a people with a rich history, culture, interesting people and customs, and incredible natural beauty. For a country that I did not think had much religion, a common thread throughout their long history, going all the way for centuries before Christ, has been their great concern about heaven, God, and a judgement of souls in the afterlife for a life lived of good vs. evil, which is so greatly evidenced in so many of the things I have seen on this trip. No matter where we are in this passage through time, our life here is short and we all hope that God in heaven awaits us in the afterlife.
If you ever plan on taking a trip to China, a couple of pieces of advice:
– Don’t drink the water. It’s ok to brush your teeth and shower in it, but you cannot drink it. Most major hotels and most good restaurants use distiller water for ice. When in doubt, ask.
– Bring a roll of toilet paper or box of Kleenex. Most places don’t have any, and only a few restaurants have napkins. One roll per person is fine. Some people also being wet wipes…we brought some, but only used a few…and practice squatting.
– Bring everything for colds, flu, sore throat, upset tummy, diarrhea etc. All but 2 of 16 in our group got something at some point during the trip.
– Pack a couple of zip lock baggies in your suitcase.
China was never high on my list of places to go, but it’s been a fascinating and incredible journey and has far exceed my uneducated expectations. We made some great new friends, and I’d highly recommend Ritz Tours and Daniel, who was our guide thru our whole trip. How amazing that technology allows for me to share the same day that I’ve experienced something. I hope you have enjoyed the emails and photos I’ve sent.
Flying home tomorrow. Wake up call at 5am…luggage out the door by 6am.